Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Hexagonal city grids

Many years ago I posted about hexagonal city grids: https://art-of-logic.blogspot.com/2014/12/hexagonal-grid-city-life.html. I recently saw City Beautiful's YouTube video about hexagonal city grids, which rekindled my interest in them. Apparently, hexagonal city grids aren't just my fantasy.

How do you plat houses in hexagonal grids? Don't they create weird-shaped lots? Perhaps, but the problem is mitigated substantially by using the "superblock" strategy. The idea, which was developed by Barcelona, was to merge multiple blocks together into one superblock; through-traffic would be pushed to the perimeter of the superblock, whereas streets in the interior of the block would be only for residents. Here's what this could look like for hexagons:

Each triangular grid line is 200 ft. Commercial/apartment building lots are marked in red. Residential lots of approximately 50x100 ft are marked in blue. The residential streets are marked in black, whereas bike/walking paths are dashed lines. A park in the center is marked in green.

The hexagonal city block pictured is about 1,000,000 sq ft, or about 23 acres. A typical city block in most cities is somewhere about 4–5 acres, so the superblock above is about 5–6 typical city blocks.

As you can see, a few lots end up as triangles, but for the most part, rectangular lots can be preserved for most residential development.

Each residential street has only one inlet, limiting car traffic on the street to residents and residential services like trash collection, while bike/walking paths allow everyone else easy cut-throughs and connection.

However, commercial properties could have limited (by hours of business and total volume) loading docks and trash collection via the residential streets behind them, thus improving the flow of traffic on the main thoroughfares on the hexagon's perimeter.

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